Polyhymnia

British-Bahraini Jazz Phenom Yazz Ahmed Dedicates Album #3 To Greek Goddess Of The Arts

What sounds like the distant sounds of an orchestra tuning, getting ready to play, subtly merges into the yearning lament of a trumpet, heralding a new dawn. Ethereal, poetic, sublime, abstract yet ever so melodic are the opening moments to British-Bahraini trumpet player, composer and "high priestess of psychedelic Arabic jazz" Yazz Ahmed's recently released third album "Polyhymnia". Expectations for this one are sky high, considering the overwhelming global success of her gorgeous 2017-released sophomore full-length "La Saboteuse", which among numerous rave reviews has meanwhile received consideration as one of the top albums of the decade.

Based in London, a staple of the city's flourishing new jazz scene, Yazz Ahmed was approached by Tomorrow's Warriors back in 2015 and "commissioned to write an extended work, to be performed by members of their Nu Civilisation Orchestra, for a concert at the Women of the World Festival, on International Women's Day." Needless to say, this sparked a prolonged creative process, as Yazz Ahmed set out to gather inspiration and chanced upon the ancient Greek Muse of music, poetry and dance, Polyhymnia. She proceeded to conceive a "suite of moments, each dedicated to women of outstanding qualities, role models, with whom [she] felt a strong connection."

Instead of focussing on "the embodiment of [her] inner-destroyer as the catalyst for creation" on "La Saboteuse", "Polyhymnia" might be see as a sort of anti-muse, "inspiring an intense period of creativity", as the album's six pieces "evolved and expanded" Yazz Ahmed's to take on their current form. The track "One Girl Among Many" even contains parts of Malala Yousafzai's powerful speech to the UN Youth Assembly in 2013. Alongside numerous co-contributors on "Polyhymnia", Yazz Ahmed sets sail on a mission to inspire and achieve clarity through compelling complexity and honour "the stories and achievements of these exceptional women" throughout time. 

You can stream the full album and/or watch her perform the psychedelic version to her 2017 track "The Lost Pearl" below.